Friday, May 23, 2014

Victory Over Sin

The Bible says that we are essentially made of body, soul and spirit. When God made man, he made him from the dust of the ground. When he breathed into him the breath of life, man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:57). The word for soul here is the word psuche from which we get our word psychology. The word for spirit is pneuma from which we get our words pneumatic and pneumonia. So when God breathed into Adam, he was breathing his spirit into him. Adam became a living soul when the breath of God entered him.

The problem however was that Adam disobeyed God and his spirit died. God had told him that the day he ate of the tree that God had forbidden, he would die. And he did die spiritually. Everyone born since then has been born with a dead spirit (Ephesians 2:1). In addition, our bodies are dying and our soul consisting of mind, will and emotions has been severely damaged by the effects and habits of sin.

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that when a person comes to Christ in saving faith, God gives him the righteousness of Christ which grants that person a right standing before God. God sees him as though he had never sinned as far as the court of heaven is concerned. He need not fear on judgment day.

However, we still have the problem of how to live out a life that is pleasing and obedient to God in our normal day to day living. In the Old Testament God promised a New Covenant that he was making with his people. In that covenant several things were granted. God promised to remove the old hard stoney heart we are born with, replace it with a tender, pliable heart. He promised to give him a new spirit. He promised his own spirit would come into the person, and he promised that he himself would provide the internal motivation to do the right thing (Ezekiel 36:26-27; Jeremiah 31:33). This new covenant was announced by Jesus at the last supper and initiated when he died and rose again.

What does that mean for a believer in Jesus Christ? It means that he now has the inner resources to be obedient to God. He has a new heart, a new spirit, God's spirit and internal motivation to be obedient. The resources are there. The question becomes, will we use the resources we have to live a life that is pleasing to God and that honors and glorifies him?

More tomorrow.

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